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School refusal to be named in EHCP

(17 Posts)
RedRakham Wed 10-May-17 23:36:52

Any advice or sharing of experience would be appreciated. We have been able to procure an EHCP for our DC. The EHCP is currently in draft form. We were asked by the LA if we had a preference with respect to schools. We picked the school for our DS. The school has come back now stating that they cannot accommodate our DS (without even meeting DS). The grounds provided in our opinion are not justified and we are considering appealing/contesting their rejection. Basically it looks like they don't want a student with an EHCP. We believe we can easily contest their grounds for rejection.

Can anyone advice on their experience in forcing the LA to proceed with naming a school despite the school's objections? Does the LA just accept the school's rejection?

There is no shortage of schools in our vicinity, however all are over-subscribed. We are concerned that if this school is not accepting our DC on such frivolous grounds, then arguabley all these schools will refuse him for one reason or another just to avoid a child with an EHCP. So the question remains how far can we go with our insistence to have our choice of school named.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Shybutnotretiring Thu 11-May-17 10:13:19

Yes it is appalling when schools say they don't want SEN children but depressingly, I would take the hint and console yourself that you dodged a bullet. If a child is at a school which doesn't want them you can be looking at years of misery. I know it sounds defeatist but I think it's preferable to know that SEN children aren't welcomed than to be taken in by a school which pretends it's all sweet and cuddly about SEN but turns out to be ignorant and intolerant. Is there anything special about this school why you particularly want your child to go there? If you have an EHCP your child should go (nearly) to the top of the list even with oversubscribed schools surely?

Kewcumber Thu 11-May-17 10:22:32

We were warned by our EP to be careful about the support we stated because it might give a school the opportunity to say they couldn;t meet this level of need. SO EHCP has been carefully drafted.

I agree that I'm not sure I would want my child at a school who doesn;t want them.

CAn you talk to the senco at some other local schools to get a feel for whch one might be better?

RedRakham Thu 11-May-17 10:37:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eddiemairswife Thu 11-May-17 10:44:12

I have heard of a case locally where the allocated (faith) school has advised the parents, that they would be better appealing for their first preference, as the allocated school would not be able to provide for the child's needs. The child has no statement...academically fine, but emotional needs due to family situation. This is a well regarded, over- subscribed, Ofsted outstanding school. So much for it's Christian ethos!!

tigerlife Thu 11-May-17 10:46:55

You can lodge a SEND appeal to force the school to take your DS (for most state funded schools). If it's named on the EHCP then the school has to take him. But I would think carefully about trying to force a school which has shown it is unwilling to take your DS. It will be a nightmare when they're at the school as you'll end up having to micromanage support yourself. All the mainstream schools in our area refused to take DS, and our LA now has to pay out £100k a year to fund DS in a private special school - which has far better provision than any of the state mainstream or special schools.

Contact Ipsea for advice based on your exact circumstances.

Shybutnotretiring Thu 11-May-17 10:48:04

Is school A a mainstream with a unit? I suspect that it all begins and ends with the headteacher. Sorry, I don't know the answer to your question; I presume the LA can force the school to take him but I also suspect there's a whole level of you scratch my back/I scratch your back between LAs and schools which parents don't know the half of.

RedRakham Thu 11-May-17 12:15:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shybutnotretiring Thu 11-May-17 13:14:43

Yes, how difficult for you. When my DS was that age we waltzed into mainstream with no idea of the storm ahead. I've always regretted that I didn't realise and try to send him to the mainstream with ASD unit a couple of miles away. But...would it have made any difference in the long run? I'm not sure. it's clear now (he is 9) that he really needs a special school (of course everyone's different) and the only special schools I want him to go to start at key stage 2 anyway. I guess you just have to see what the LA offers you (but hassle them so that you don't get bounced into a school because it's horribly close to September - if you haven't already you'll of course need to visit the schools before the summer holidays).

Bobbybobbins Thu 11-May-17 13:48:54

So sorry for the difficulties you are facing. Our son is 3 and non-verbal (ASD) and we will be starting the process of trying to get an EHCP and looking at schools very soon. We have several mainstream schools that have good reputations for children with additional needs but also a local school for autistic children from 4-18.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how you would judge whether a child will cope in mainstream or not? His mainstream nursery have suggested he will be borderline for both. As a secondary teacher .i am concerned about the funding cuts in mainstream schools as I know that many are losing TA support.

Ceto Fri 12-May-17 22:32:03

As it's a mainstream school, the law is very much on your side. The LA has to name the school unless placing your child there would be incompatible with the efficient education of other children AND there are no reasonable adjustments they can make to overcome that incompatibility. If necessary, the LA must fund those adjustments, within reason, of course. There is case authority which effectively says the situation has to be pretty extreme before it can be said there is no way the incompatibility can be overcome.

The fact that this school is outstanding helps you too - a school that is already struggling is much more likely to be able to show that the education of other children will be affected; a genuinely outstanding school should be able to take a child with an EHCP in its stride.

So the first question is whether the school is actually dealing with the right legal criteria - often they don't seem to realise that just saying, for instance, that they would have to employ another TA is not evidence that placing the child there would be incompatible with efficient education. The LA should be prepared to challenge them, and also to talk to them about reasonable adjustments that can be made.

This - www.theguardian.com/education/2012/aug/20/academy-loses-challenge-special-needs - is an interesting report about a similar situation.

Redlocks28 Fri 12-May-17 22:41:11

We have just been named as preference school by parents for their son with a recent EHC plan. He has a plan, but no actual hours or money allocated to it!

We are making virtually all of our TAs redundant due to funding cuts so things are horrendous and there is no extra adult anywhere. I've not actually heard of this before (EHCP with no money or hours, I mean). I hope this isn't a sign of things to come??

llhj Fri 12-May-17 22:48:54

For a different viewpoint: We've been named on several EHCPs as school of choice. We just can't take them all. We are fighting it. We can't afford it. Nothing personal but we're a small school and have 9 already and are at capacity. We have no space and zero funds, we're making 2 teachers redundant and cutting TA hours.

Ceto Fri 12-May-17 22:51:56

Redlocks, can you encourage and support the parents with an appeal? That sounds like a grossly unlawful EHCP. Maybe refer them to SOS SEN?

Ceto Fri 12-May-17 22:52:57

llhj, if - and I appreciate it's a big if - TA hours are properly specified in the EHCPs and therefore funded by the LA, does that not actually help you to keep them?

llhj Fri 12-May-17 23:21:42

Schools have to fund first £6000 of any EHCP. Some are only worth £10k etc. It's complicated.

Tainbri Tue 16-May-17 08:36:13

Have you considered looking in the independent sector such as a "specialist" school? obviously you do have the right to mainstream and can put up a fight etc but even if you get this school named, to be honest the bigger fight (from bitter personal experience) is getting the plan implemented. If the school is already saying no, obviously not a great start. However, it's the LA you need to be arguing with. We went through our sons plan and had it broken down cost wise. A specialist school tends to have more LSAs etc as core so much guy even be more economical for them.

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